It’s conference season, and the holidays are right around the corner, so marketing professionals everywhere are feverishly creating conference presentations and are eyeball-deep in holiday collateral. During this busy time of year, it’s easy to get bogged down in your benefits statements. You may even get tired of writing the same phrases, no matter how beautifully crafted they are.
Now’s the time to freshen up your messaging. By injecting new ideas into your cache, you’ll energize your sales and marketing teams and attract new customers. Here’s what I do when I need some inspiration:
1. Browse through AngelList. The startups using AngelList to attract and connect with investors are trying to sell themselves with pithy headlines and succinct profiles. Their messaging is as fresh as it gets, since these companies are typically under 3 or 4 years old. Browse through their profiles and think — how would I pitch my product to investors if I were in a fundraising round? Although the messaging you come up with might not be ideal for your current campaigns, it will jumpstart your brainstorm session and lead to new ideas.
2. Shadow a sales rep. Marketing writes the sheet music and salespeople sing the song. How are your clients responding to the lyrics? How are sales reps adding in their own melodies? Are they loving the song and making it even better with their special touch, or are they signing in a completely different key? You’ll never know unless you spend some time with your sales team and hear how clients actually respond to the messaging.
3. Describe my product or campaign to my grandma. We spend a lot of time, and rightly so, identifying and researching our target demographic. We find out what they like, what they understand, and what they know about our products, and then those findings turn into assumptions. It’s important to periodically revisit those assumptions, and describing the benefits of your product to someone who knows nothing about it — ie, your grandma — will do the trick. Assuming you’re not selling record players or Lincoln Town Cars, you’ll have to pare back your core capabilities back to their simplest terms and completely rethink their value.